RIP Soi Bintabaht: Hua Hin’s new bar area could be the end of once popular nightspot

Feb 17, 2021 | 

Construction continues on a new beer bar complex that is due to open in Hua Hin in the coming weeks.

The new complex, dubbed ‘Wonderland’, is located on Soi 94 opposite the popular Sakura  Japanese restaurant and on the site of the former Isaan restaurant known locally as ‘Sakura Isaan’.

The complex consists of 21 bars and a kitchen area and Thaivisa understands all of the bars have already been rented out, with rental fees starting at just 9,000 baht per month.

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Construction of new bar area on Soi 94

The construction of the Wonderland beer bar complex throws into question the future of Hua Hin’s original bar and nightlife area – Soi Bintabaht.

Like many nightlife areas throughout Thailand, Soi Bintabaht has been left decimated due to  the lack of foreign tourists as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A bar owner on Soi Bintabaht recently told Thaivisa that she estimated 80 percent of bars in the area had either closed or would not be renewing their rental contracts.

In its heyday, the monthly rental cost of even a small bar around Soi Bintabaht would be upwards of 80,000 baht per month, in addition to the million baht+ needed for ‘key money’.

This week posts shared on local Thai language Facebook groups offered bars and leases for sale at a fraction of that. 

The situation at Soi Bintabaht is now similar to that found in other areas of Thailand, particularly in Pattaya, where old beer bars located on prime real estate face a far from certain future. 

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Image: Thaivisa – Bars shut and available for rent on Soi  Bintabaht

In contrast with Soi Bintabaht, Soi 94 in Hua Hin has continued to grow despite the most challenging of times. The soi now boasts a wide range of massage shops, restaurants, coffee shops and an increasing number of bars. There’s also a popular pool and sports bar which has built up a solid reputation for serving excellent food and which does brisk trade, particularly at weekends.

Nearby is also the Baan Khun Por or ‘fathers market’ outside eating area which is hugely popular with both locals and expats where customers can have a beer and something to eat, while listening to live music and still have change from 100 baht –  all of which also provides fierce competition for Hua Hin’s older beer bars and eateries. 

On Tuesday, popular Hua Hin based vlogger Jonny Small shared a video of the Wunderland beer bar complex.

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